|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2019
PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Volunteer Florida, the Governor’s lead agency for volunteerism and service in the Sunshine State, celebrated the 25th Anniversary of AmeriCorps on Friday with a service day in Panama City. During Friday’s day of service, Volunteer Florida staff, Commissioners, Foundation Board members, and community leaders worked alongside AmeriCorps members to help rebuild a home that was damaged during Hurricane Michael.
Each year, nearly 1,800 citizens across the state take the pledge to strengthen Florida’s communities through the national service program, AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps members serve in many different capacities, including educational support, veteran services, public land conservation, disaster response and more.
“For 25 years, AmeriCorps members have played an important role in helping improve Florida’s many communities,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “I am pleased to send my best wishes to our AmeriCorps members as they celebrate this milestone and I look forward to working together on their continued success.”
“For more than a quarter century, AmeriCorps members have been getting things done throughout Florida, from mentoring our students to helping rebuild after a disaster,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Clay Ingram. “I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate this incredible milestone than a day of service helping those still recovering from Hurricane Michael.”
AmeriCorps members and staff from Volunteer Florida’s AmeriCorps programs, AMIkids, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Goodwill Industries of the Big Bend and Northwest Florida State College, joined the day of service that was co-hosted by SBP, Inc. SBP, Inc. is a nonprofit, disaster relief organization that has partnered with HOPE Panhandle to provide recovery assistance in the Hurricane Michael-affected areas of Florida. SBP, Inc. is a Volunteer Florida AmeriCorps program and a Florida Disaster Fund grant recipient.
“SBP’s mission is to shrink the time between disaster and recovery – this is only possible through partnerships with Volunteer Florida and the Corporation for National and Community Service,” said SBP, Inc. National Director of AmeriCorps Mike Sullivan. “Our work takes three things: funding, volunteers, and AmeriCorps members. Our partnership with Volunteer Florida has provided all three, allowing SBP to serve Floridians impacted by Hurricane Michael.”
AmeriCorps funding is made available by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and national service, and administered through state service commissions, like Volunteer Florida.
“For more than two decades, Americans who want to serve have been pledging to ‘get things done’ as AmeriCorps members,” said Director of AmeriCorps Chester Spellman. “As AmeriCorps marks its 25th anniversary, it’s an honor to see a new generation put those same works into action in Florida. Through their dedication and sacrifice, I know our nation is in good hands.”
Since AmeriCorps’ inception in 1994, more than 1 million Americans have served, providing more than 1.5 billion hours of service and earning more than $3.6 billion in education scholarships.
In 1994, Volunteer Florida was established in Florida Statutes to manage national service programs, such as AmeriCorps, and advocate for volunteerism throughout the Sunshine State. Since then, Volunteer Florida has evolved to serve as the state’s lead agency for mobilizing volunteers and coordinating donations before, during and after disasters, including managing the Florida Disaster Fund. After 25 years, Volunteer Florida remains committed to promoting volunteerism in Florida, and recently launched the state’s official volunteer opportunities platform, Volunteer Connect. Through our work, Volunteer Florida delivers high-impact volunteer programs and opportunities that engage Floridians, transform communities and make the state a better place to live. For more information, please visit www.volunteerflorida.org.